A Kaleidoscope of Inspiring and Uplifting Poetry for Imamat Day

EXPRESSIONS OF MYSTICAL AND ESOTERIC LOVE FOR HAZAR IMAM

Ismailis throughout the world celebrated the Golden Jubilee of their 49th Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Shah Karim al-Hussaini, during the period July 11, 2007 – December 13, 2008. Part of the commemorative festivities in Europe included an exclusive project, entitled “Festival of Poetic Expressions”, produced and directed by Aitmadi Dr. Aziz Kurwa, under the aegis of the His Highness the Aga Khan Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom.

The Festival of Poetic Expressions - A Golden Jubilee Initiative by His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom.

The common theme underlying each performance was the expression of mystical and esoteric love the Ismailis have for their Imam of the Time.

Such expressions have resonated throughout Ismaili history, because Ismaili doctrine has always emphasized the principle of the Unity of Imamat where the Ismailis affirm that each Imam, as bearer of the Noor of Imamat starting with Hazrat Ali (a.s.), is the same irrespective of his own age or the time he lives.

Group photo of the participants and organziers of the "Festival of Poetic Expressions"

Group photo of the participants and organizers of the “Festival of Poetic Expressions”

Thus the poems selected below are timeless, and we hope they instill happiness in the heart of every Ismaili as they celebrate the 56th Imamat Day of Mawlana Hazar Imam on July 11th. 

MY ULTIMATE DESIRE

عندما تأتي يأتي النور

Victoria Niema Alhaj

Victoria Niema Alhaj

عندما تأتي يأتي النور
إمامي أنت مولانا
معك نشعر بالسعادة والامان
أنت إمامي
أنت حبيبي
أحب أن أراك دائما
لك حبي ياشاه كريم

By Niema Victoria Alhaj

O my Imam
when you come
comes the Nur.

You’re our Mawla,
and you give us
happiness and protection.

O Shah Karim,
you are my beloved Imam,
and to see you
is my ultimate desire.

_____________

Niema, pictured above, was born in Stockholm, to Syrian parents. Niema knows many Arabic Qasidas and Qur’anic Surahs by heart. She also has many talents including composing poetry, writing short stories, painting, and sports including Taekwondo (gained green belt) and swimming (has many diplomas).

~~~~~~

A SYMPHONY: PEACE AND LOVE

Shaqiera Ladhu performing "A Symphony: Peace and Love"

Shaqiera Ladhu

By Shaqiera Ladhu

A symphony of words,
Pieced together to rhyme,
An orchestra of celebrations,
To The Imam of the Time

May the stanza’s bow down,
In your light and your grace,
Set the verses ablaze,
With the Noor from your face

The letters flow together,
Like the droplets in a river,
That fall into an ocean,
Of love and pure devotion

Tum meri hai zindagi,
Tum meri hai bandagi,
You are my life to me,
You are my bandagi

Oh Imam to me,
you are so dear,
And what better time to express this,
than your golden year?

Fifty years we celebrate,
you have been on the throne,
And we know that with your guidance,
we have never been alone.

You have inspired, aspired and been admired,
By all your submissive murids,
You have planted all over the world,
The fruit of love blooms from those seeds..

Your Noor is your lighting,
The world is your stage,
And fifty years of your directing,
Has brought this golden age.

All you have done,
To help the nations,
Fifty years gone by,
Now here’s your standing ovation!

Your murids rise up,
Tears in their eyes,
Reciting salwaats,
That reach beyond the skies….

Your holy Noor has beamed its light
through every institution,
Purifying the worldly waters
of anti-peace pollution….

If love be the magic,
you are the magician,
Uniting the world,
with your inspired intuition,

And your murids are beside you,
with support and devotion,
We march right behind you,
as you part the ocean…

Clearing a trail purer
than any ever seen,
You guide us through that path,
and call it siratul mustaqeem.

In peace I am,
one with Islam,
In love I am,
with my Imam… 

_____________

Shaqiera LadhuShaqiera was born in London, UK, in 1992. She has been writing poems since the age of eight years old when she was first taught basic poetry at school. She is still expanding her creative horizons – learning, loving and living to write. Now, through lyrical expression and with the utmost sincerity, she conveys her ongoing affection and gratitude to our beloved Imam.

~~~~~~

KALEIDOSCOPE OF FAITH

By Zainul Nasser

Takhtnashini in Nairobi
An event so momentous,
So significant
My heart is filled with wonder
And childish piety

Giving Bay’ah in Mombasa
Hazar Imam’s gentle hand
On my bowed shoulder
Benign, protective

The kaleidoscope is set
In simple, comforting patterns
Glowing brightly throughout childhood

Religion is woven
Through our lives
Jamatkhana as familiar
As our homes
Pictures of Hazar Imam
Surround us
A constant, reassuring presence

Childhood ends
And with it certainty
New ideas, new experiences
Overwhelm me
For a while, my inattentive soul
Loses its way
The familiar patterns
Seem blurred and distorted

But I am blessed
At Palace Gate we students
Sit at Hazar Imam’s feet
So fortunate
In this small, intimate setting
Hazar Imam’s gaze
Seems to rest on me
Infinitely understanding, infinitely merciful

My struggling soul is rewarded
Focus is restored
The patterns in the kaleidoscope
Acquire coherence, depth and sparkle

And over the years
The colours dim or brighten
But the patterns remain steady
And my hopeful soul
Journeys on
Towards
Golden Jubilee Imamat day

We come together
In joyous anticipation
Our hearts beguiled
By fervent Zikr tasbis, qasidah
And the rousing ‘Munajat’

We are shown
Hazar Imam’s untiring efforts
To help the needy
To bring hope and harmony and beauty
Everywhere
A shining beacon in a time of darkness
Our hearts sing with pride
We are inspired
We are humbled

And we are blessed
With the Irshad
So caring and compassionate
So full of love, wisdom and goodness

The kaleidoscope clicks
Into perfect symmetry
The colours polished to a lustrous luminescence
The child in me
Exults in the jewelled splendour
My imperfect soul
Is filled with gratitude
At this gift, this grace
And prays for it to last.

_____________

Zainul Nasser ( nee Karmali ) was born in Mombasa and grew up there. She came to the U.K. as an undergraduate and has lived here ever since.

Zainul has an Honours degree in English from Bristol University and a Postgraduate Degree in Education. She taught English in secondary schools in Birmingham for several years. She also served on various committees including Education and Women’s activities.

Zainul is married with three grown up children. She now lives in Sutton Coldfield, indulging her passion for reading and occasionally writing poetry.

~~~~~~

THE MORNING SUN

Zahira Virani

Zahira Virani

By Zahira Virani

Excited, mesmerised momins, full of expectancy,
full of love and joy

Communal love beyond any I have ever witnessed
An empty reservoir waiting to be filled
A hungry child awaiting its delayed meal
The desert gasping for its monsoon

Roses, jasmine and freesia release clouds
from the intoxicating agarbati
Rising and raising me higher and higher
till I land on a cloud
I become an eagle that soars
to dazzling heights in expectation
That knows the further it goes
the more bounteous its reward

Morning Sun

Bump
Down to earth, bustling shuffling,
quick fire steps of volunteers Salwaat continuous,
rolling around in echoes and ripples of anticipation
Waezeen moving off the stage and evoking
a collective in-take of breath
Then chokingly a salwaat comes out
trickling water on a dry plant
Gently, gently but truly, truly
A teasing moment till it spills forth
the presence of Our Lord!

Overwhelmingly a wave upon a wave
of heat envelopes my heart and my mind
I lose my ability to focus,
through an uncontrollable gush of tears
I find my head bows,
surely my eyes are not worthy
To glimpse his face
Yet the presence opens a door in my heart,
where I can see glory
beyond my dreams
The family of momins around me
embrace me without arms, we are one

I am in union with them and my Lord
We are a garden of flowers resplendent
in the glory of the morning sun 

~~~~~~

THE DANCING HEART

Greg Traynor

By Greg Traynor 

Come [let’s] celebrate this golden year with sitar, lute and tabla
Clear the well-spring maple floor for dandia and rasra.
Tread the flattened, reddened earth.
The verdant grass, the seashore.
Clap your hands, Lift up your feet
– Be happy!

From mountain top in high Pamir to Ganges’ muddy waters,
From old folks in Portugal to Toronto’s sons and daughters
Will all join hands and navigate
Their way around the dance floor
Our hearts exult, our souls inspired.
– We are happy!

Dandia

Pale ghosts of Alamut arise! Come, join in this occasion!
Scholars of al-Azhar’s red towers and saints of every nation!
Raise up your voices, all in praise.
Our Imam’s life to cherish
We, the living, wish to dance and sing
– So happy!

Our Imam’s fifty golden years witness his dedication,
His Dancing Heart has guided the formation
Of our joyous souls,
His thoughtful words have nourished and
His Farmans have enlightened.
Our dance will show we want to make
Him happy.

Greg Traynor presented the Dancing Heart as a non-Ismaili spouse. He lives in Ireland.

~~~~~~~~~

THE SPIRIT WITHIN

Ayat and Rope

By Moez Mitha

To the Rope of Imamat,
we must remember to hold strong,
With this Rope as our guide,
we will never go wrong.

From our spiritual responsibilities,
we must never go astray,
The balance between Din and Duniya
we should uphold everyday.

We love our Hazar Imam and in our hearts
he is always near,
How fortunate we are to be witness
of this Golden Jubilee year!

Magnificent are the works of our Imam
and to him we must show
That with our time and knowledge
the further we will be able to go.

We live in a world where we sometimes forget
how fortunate we really are,
And even the smallest of contributions
can help people go so far.

Moez Mitha

Moez Mitha

Our Mawla, he guides, he leads the way
and to us he always says,
“Remember your prayers and
take your tasbih any time during the day.”

In this year some of us may see
that it’s time to make a new start,
But in doing so we must show
that our allegiance is from the heart.

When it’s time for the Day of Judgment,
there’s something we all know,
Physically we will cease to exist
and to Him our spirit we must bestow.

Mawlana Hazar Imam has often reminded
us of our key role:
“In the practice of your faith,
you should seek to enlighten your soul.”
 

Date posted: Saturday, July 6, 2013.

Please also click The Festival of Poetic Expressions to learn about the festival and read more poems presented at the festival.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

5 thoughts on “A Kaleidoscope of Inspiring and Uplifting Poetry for Imamat Day

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, may Mowla bless you for this wonderful service you are rendering.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s